Ever done a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the end result of extreme weather conditions, persistently high bills can also signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy through other means, like drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
One of the simplest ways to figure out whether your home is using too much energy is by hiring a home service professional to perform a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn more about home energy audits, including what they are and their benefits.
What Is a Home Energy Audit?
An energy audit is a comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through older energy bills while completing an energy audit to determine where energy is being consumed and how much.
The general goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient improvements, which might include replacing your existing HVAC system, installing new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor also completes an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor performs a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to figure out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also evaluate your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments may also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the typical homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their area. However, lots of energy companies often supply information about where your home ranks when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This can be a good starting point to decide if you need an energy audit performed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it could cause a sizable increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to run longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit can reveal where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to conserve energy and lower utility bills. This may include replacing worn weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Permitting air to leak into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to build up, which can negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can lead to health conditions, particularly for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by telling possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit on your own may not be as comprehensive as choosing a professional, it’ll offer a general sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any flaws during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to bring in a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, leading to more expensive energy bills and increased strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to seal them. If your HVAC equipment is old and wearing down, upgrading to a new system can save you a significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to hire a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise your energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where you can find a draft, like along the edge of flooring and near baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look for air leaks in the home’s foundation, siding and mortar. Plug, caulk or seal any air leaks to save money.
- Inspect insulation. If your home is older, it could mean your insulation is too. If you can see the joists, you likely need more insulation.
- Check the ventilation. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Cytech Heating & Cooling L.C. for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC pros at Cytech Heating & Cooling L.C. today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to set up an appointment.